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Their Ships Have Sailed

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Books. She smells like books.

Like a library, musty like parchment and worn-out bindings. Viktor Krum kisses her ink-stained fingers. He likes her vivid blush, the way she averts her eyes. He's used to having people look at him, but not to people who can't meet his eyes.

He wants her to look at him. He lifts her chin, murmurs her name in his deep voice. Will she write him?

She says she is worried for him, for the perils the lake will throw at him.

He listens to her voice, takes it in. It's like a flute, like snow. He brushes her tangled hair from her cheek, feels the warmth in her skin.

She is like a book, too, and he wants so desperately to read the secrets hidden in her, to understand the language only she can speak.

There is silence, there by the lake. There is Hermione Granger, pale pink and embarrassed, and the lake, vast and undisturbed. He watches the sun sink beyond the forest, and the edges of the sky bleed into twilight, and without thinking, he leans in.

Her lips are soft, like he imagined. She gasps, her breath robbing his. She pulls back, stares at the ground.

He rests his hand on her shoulder, feels her muscles tense. She turns away. It is like he is losing a game of Quidditch. He grasps at straws, at her wrists, turns her chin to face him.

This time, she does not back away.

And then the owl comes, and brings a letter that steals her away, and Viktor is left with the trace of her in the air and the stars.